When I was putting this list together I did a quick search for adventure capitals of the world, you know, to see how South Africa fared. I’ll be honest, we did pretty badly – which is rather odd, because I was quite ruthless in my selection of rad adventure activities just to keep it to 7. We’ve got pretty much anything you could ask for in South Africa; west coast, east coast, mountains, deserts, forests to Joburg highways. Southern Africa is without a doubt an adventure heaven.
From big wave surfing, to skydiving, here’s my list of 7 of the most extreme sport locations in South Africa. Like I said, I pulled these off a far longer list, but in an effort to show a wide variety of locations, and avoid turning this into a BuzzFeed length list, I kept it short. Feel free to add additional locations, sports, or experiences in the comment section below.
Bloukraans Bridge: Bungy jumping
At 216m the Bloukraans bungy is the highest bridge bungy in the world. How high is 216m? High enough to turn me into a quivering child. I’ve watched two of my friends do this jump on two separate occasions, and I’m no closer to hurling myself off that thing. I timed the junkies jumping the last time I was there. They’re dropping people off that bridge at around one every five minutes, and they’re open 365 days of the year, baring gale force winds. I doubt that there’s an operator in Queenstown that can top that sort of action.
For info or to book your jump, click here.
The air above Plettenberg Bay: Skydiving
In case you didn’t pick it up from the bungy jumping paragraph, I do not dig heights, but I know a lot of you do, and from what I’ve been told, this is one of the best places in South Africa that you could pick to jump out of an aircraft with a backpack full of material. Not only is the ground rushing toward you at terminal velocity breathtakingly beautiful, there is a ton of other adventure stuff to do once your feet hit the ground.
Dungeons: Big wave surfing
Put on the global map by Red Bull a few years ago, Dungeons has become a word famous big wave spot. One could argue that this break has helped launch the careers of some of South Africa’s now world renowned big wave surfers. Whether you’ve got big enough cojones to surf it, want to hike to the vantage point on the Sentinel, or watch from a boat, this is an unmissable experience come the winter swell.
I once tried to fly a kite boarding kite. I dropped it out of the neutral zone and began to unintentionally loop it in the power zone. I didn’t know this at the time obviously, my mistakes and the various zones were pointed out to me shortly after I was dragged out of control down Muizenberg beach, until my cousin who was showing me how to fly the kite jumped on my back and brought the spinning sail to the ground.
If your skilled enough to keep the kite in the right zone, and figure out how to tack up and down the coastline instead of flying out to sea as I imagine I would, you should think about booking some time in Langebaan during the windy season – which is basically all year round in that place.
Tiffindell: Snow sports
Tiffindell may not compare to the worlds better known ski slopes, but as an addition to the South African extreme sport offering, it’s perfect. Besides, I’ve heard it’s a lot more about the drinking than the skiing in Tiffindell, which means in that regard it’s like the best slopes in the world.
Pietermaritzburg: Mountain biking
Pietermaritzburg plays host to one of the toughest legs of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, which I take to mean ‘never ever attempt the run yourself’. The last time the front wheel of my bike left the ground, I was packing my bike into the back of a bakkie. I’m more than happy to watch clips like the one below and imagine myself flying through air like those guys. There are a fair amount of you out there that enjoy the thrill of trying not to fall off your bike while hurtling down a mountain side, and if you’re one of them, from what I’ve been told, Pietermaritzburg is where you should be booking your long weekend.
Kyalami Race Track: Going fast
If you like fast things with engines, it doesn’t get much better than Joburg. For one, you’re never short of competition, and two, there are a highways shooting off in every direction. Guys just want to go fast up here. Fortunately they have a world famous Grand Prix circuit.
I got to drive a car around the track once. I thought I was pretty good, I even thought about checking for available spots in the local racing teams. Then the pro took me around and I had to wait two hours before I could drive home.
Of course, before you throw yourself off a bridge, out of a plane, into the heaving surf, around the race track, or down a mountain, you should make sure you have the necessary medical aid cover – trying to fix your own broken leg isn’t ideal. If you need to source some last minute health cover, Hippo’s online medical aid quotes, could help you source the necessary information in a matter of minutes. You know the old saying, if a cyclist falls in a forrest without medical aid, who pays for the medevac.